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Travis Perkins FD leaves to develop portfolio career

AFTER MORE THAN TWO DECADES with builders’ merchant Travis Perkins, group finance director Paul Hampden Smith has announced he is to leave the company.

Smith will retire from the board after completion of the company’s annual results next February, but will stay on at the company until September to hand over to his successor.

Having worked for Travis Perkins, which owns retail chain Wickes, for 22 years in senior finance roles, including the last 17 years as Travis Perkins group FD, Smith is leaving the company to pursue a portfolio career.

Smith has been part of the management team that has grown the business from turnover of £400m to £5bn through organic growth and acquisitions.

Robert Walker, chairman of Travis Perkins, said: “Paul Hampden Smith has made a very significant contribution to Travis Perkins over many years and he goes with our very best wishes for the future. Paul has deservedly earned widespread respect, both inside and outside the Company, for his abilities and achievements.”

On announcing his intention to leave, Smith said he believes the company is “well positioned for further growth and success”. However, the last three months have been difficult for the company.

In a separate announcement Travis Perkins confirmed that sales fell over the summer as a result of bad weather and disruption caused by the Olympics. In the three months to 30 September underlying sales slipped 3.5%.

“Trading improved in September after the uneven and fragile trading conditions experienced so far this year, and our continuing tight management of costs and efficiency gains from self-help projects, mean we remain on target to meet market expectations,” said chief executive Geoff Cooper.

Shares in the FTSE 250 company fell 2.7% to 1,103 on news of Smith’s departure and its quarterly results.

Travis Perkins is expected to post a full-year pretax profit of £309.5m according to a Reuters poll of 19 analysts.

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